As if doomed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon hadn’t enough on her plate, there has been a spate of people in the SNP and formerly of the SNP heading towards the criminal courts of late.
Some of them..... allegedly close friends!
SNP Cllr Russell Robertson, 59, was accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at his Gartcosh home on September 2, last year. The good news for Robertson and presumably the SNP in Glasgow is that the charge against him of making offensive and sectarian remarks has been dropped.
No by-election in Glasgow which no doubt will disappoint some people, including me, the chance to get another of the SNP out of public office has been missed, but hey, another day right?
The bad news for Nicola Sturgeon is that SNP Cllr Russell Robertson’s partner, a 29-year-old university student called David Hara admitted shouting “the Pope was a paedo” during a neighbour dispute.
Hara pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday to shouting the remarks. Robertson denied the charge, which prosecutors accepted. The rammy kicked off when a female neighbour allegedly heard Hara make the comments;
“you fat smelly cow” and “you fat smelly tramp” which she believed were about her which is like a red rag to a bull, things went downhill after that leading to remarks aggravated by religious prejudice. As well as the ‘smelly’ comments, Hara is said to have made remarks about “hating the Queen” and that “the Pope was a paedo”.
In cases like this, we have to be understanding and think of the victim, also think about the wider society. Although Hara has been freed on bail pending reports, in a case like this we really do need to send out a message about this type of sectarian behavior and make use of the prison system.
Although David Hara is a 29-year-old university student, people in a case like this would expect a sentence of imprisonment, no special favours for political or sexual preference should be available.
A good solid six months in prison would be the right way to go.
Sheriff Lindsay Wood branded Hara’s behaviour “atrocious” and said “that’s down to your drinking, you’ve hurt people, you’re offending people - do you get that?”
Given at an earlier hearing David Hara pled not guilty by denying the charge apparently not methinks!
Rather than cough up, David Hara took the view to buy time, waste court time and kick the can down the road.
In a hushed court Procurator fiscal depute Gemma McKechnie said Hara was at the back door of the house drinking and talking to Russell. A female neighbour nearby heard Hara make the comments of “you fat smelly cow” and “you fat smelly tramp”. Then once the floodgates were open more comments about “hating the Queen” and that “the Pope was a paedo” followed.
Hara told another female neighbour who was nearby that her and her daughter were “sluts”.
In cases like this, is there a need for ‘heterophobia’ legislation to come before Holyrood, does this case make that litmus test for an inquiry into future laws. In what must have been a difficult decision after being subjected to such vile filth, the women bravely phoned the police.
In an attempt to mitigate the crimes, Defence lawyer Jack Brown said a lot of drink had been taken that day and his client and Mr Robertson believed the neighbours disapproved of their relationship.
It seems that to water down the sentence of David Hara, the LGBT card has been trotted out as some kind of justification.
It is said that Sheriff Lindsay Wood list his interests as family, football, keep fit, music, travel, reading and maintaining a sense of humour. Hopefully in this case, he will keep his sense of humour and use the ‘judgement of Solomon’ and shove six months in prison up David Hara’s ass!
Finally, it appears that the house used by Robertson and Hara is on the market, and they are making plans to leave the area, well given they have worn out their welcome that isn’t surprising.
Call me old fashioned but you have to pity their future new neighbours don’t you?
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University